01 of 10
Deluxe Dutch Cocktails at A-bar -- Best Amsterdam Restaurant and Bar Terraces
While its conservative interior reminds us of a posher version of the KLM's business class lounge, the outdoor terrace at the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam Hotel bar is breathtaking. Situated on the sunny side of one of the prettiest stretches of the Amstel river, A-bar's terrace (Professor Tulpplein 1) offers full-on waterside views, five star service, complimentary bar snacks (green olives, nuts and other nibbles) and world-class cocktails. Made with local liqueurs and jenevers, Dutch vodkas and whiskeys and homemade syrups, the cocktails have a a distinctly Dutch twist. A recent favorite, The Damrak Swizzle was a very refreshing mix of Zuidam Oude Jenever, Wynand Fockink Ginger Liqueur, honey ginger syrup and fresh lemon juice (€12,00).
02 of 10
Park Patio Perfection at Merkelbach
As garden getaways go, they don't get much better than the leafy terrace of Merkelbach restaurant (Middenweg 72), situated alongside the former coach house of the stately Huize Frankendael, a national monument and Amsterdam’s last buiten (manorial estate). Enjoy views of the formal garden and Frankendael park as you nibble on some of the best bar snacks in town, or linger longer for dinner. Chef Geert Burema’s passion for the Slow Food movement shows in his locally sourced ingredients and use of products from the Dutch Slow Food Presidium, such as apple syrup from Limburg, sheep's milk cheese from Texel and Oosterschelde lobster.
For more information, visit Restaurant Merkelbach's website
03 of 10
Beers and Bitterballen at Sluyswacht
This little black building in Amsterdam's former Jewish Quarter is one of few in the area to have survived the ravages of the Second World War. The charmingly listing structure has been around since 1695 when it was a lock-keeper’s cottage. Nowadays, it's both a monument and popular watering hole, called Café de Sluyswacht (Jodenbreestraat 1).
There are two terraces, offering views of the pretty Oude Schans and storied Rembrandt House, where Rembrandt lived between 1639 and 1658. This is the place to sample Amsterdam's most famous bar snack, bitterballen, which are excellent here; expertly crisp on the outside, creamy and meat-rich on the inside and served blisteringly hot. Wash them down with a white beer (witbier) or another local brew.
For more information, visit Café de Sluyswacht's website
04 of 10
Art Deco Delight at Bar Lempicka -- Best Amsterdam Restaurant and Bar Terraces
Conveniently located next to the posh Amstel hotel, near the Carre theatre and Hermitage museum, Bar Lempicka (Sarphatistraat 23) is a stylish pit-stop on your cultural outing in the city. The bar-brasserie was named for art deco artist Tamara de Lempicka and its combination of classic art deco elements and modern touches make it a very cosy spot to enjoy a glass of wine, local beer or cocktail, or something more substantial from the Med-led menu.
Find out more at Bar Lempicka's websiteContinue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Lap of Luxury -- Best Amsterdam Restaurant and Bar Terraces
Dutch celebrity chef Peter Lute's eponymous restaurant (De Oude Molen 5) is housed in the 18th century stables of what was once a gunpowder factory off the banks of the river Amstel. Luckily, the only pyrotechnics to be found here today are served on a plate. Peter Lute's signature truffle soup and his feather-light take on shrimp tempura (pictured) come highly recommended. Reserve a table on the restaurant's elegant terrace, which was designed using natural materials and Bisazza mosaics.
Find out more at Lute's website
06 of 10
City Center Views -- Best Amsterdam Restaurant and Bar Terraces
On Oosterdokseiland, right next to Central Station in the historic city center, is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station. If you're willing to brave the wind on the 11th floor terrace (there's also a lounge bar with comfortable window seating inside) and can stomach the inflated ''centrum'' prices, you'll be treated to unparalleled views of the old city center, IJ river and Amsterdam's stunning skyline.
Find out more at SkyLounge's website
07 of 10
Riveting River Views -- Best Amsterdam Restaurant and Bar Terraces
The terrace at Café-Restaurant Riva (Amstelboulevard 1) offers stunning views of the Amstel river. We've visited several times since, and recommend the bar snacks here, especially the samosas served with a garlicky yogurt dip. Riva's Eurasion menu also offers salads, soups, pastas, seafood and meat dishes.
For more information, visit Café-Restaurant Riva's website
08 of 10
EYE-mazing views of the IJ river
Swap trivia about your favorite films while eyeing the sweeping IJ river views at EYE bar-restaurant (Van Marwijk Kooystraat 14). The bar-restaurant forms part of the EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the internationally renowned Dutch center for cinema culture and -heritage. The large IJ-river facing terrace catches the late afternoon sun, making it ideal for sundowners or an early supper after catching a movie or exhibit.
Find out more at EYE bar-restaurant's websiteContinue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Berlin on the Beach
ROEST (Jacob Bontiusplaats) has a relaxed charm all of its own. Situated in a former gas factory on the Eastern outskirts of Amsterdam, and with a name that literally means 'rust' in Dutch, this bar-slash-creative hotspot has all the post-industrial charm and bohemian credentials one could possibly wish for on a sunny day in the city. Yet, despite its fast-growing popularity, ROEST remains a surprisingly pretention-free zone. Down fruity punch on the sandy 'city beach' or lounge on fleamarket furniture after visiting one of the many exhibitions, markets, movie screenings or theatre events that are regularly hosted at the hotspot.
For more information, visit ROEST's website
10 of 10
Alfresco French Food
You won't find the beautiful Het Bloemgracht Terras mentioned in your dog-eared Amsterdam city guidebook, because this stylish terrace only opened in April 2013. The terrace of L’invité le Restaurant (Bloemgracht 47) is certainly one of the city's most stylish places to enjoy classic French food alfresco. Tuck into terrific terrines, coquilles and cotes de boeuf, prepared with a light, modern touch by chef Richenel while enjoying the evening sun and stunning views of the Bloemgracht, one of the Jordaan-area's oldest canals. Says Architect Dineke Dijk,'I chose a colour palette of dark grey and cream and a combination of classic oak and elegant Phantom chairs so that the terrace would fit seamlessly with the restaurant's facade, which dates from circa 1628.
For more information, visit L’invité le Restaurant's website